Caught in the inbetween:
The state of being a kid and an adult
Required to act mature,
But often regarded as a joke
The disagreeing expectations muddle,
Puddling at my feet
Is it acceptable to eagerly jump in?
Or should I worry?
If it’s a pool….perhaps it’s depth is too deep.
Unsure of what to do with myself,
As I’m caught in this “inbetween”
It’s an awkward state,
But it’s a result of being a teen.
© 2019 Vic Romero
All Rights Reserved.
I wrote this circa 2012/2013…I’ve been thinking about an “inbetween” state lately…particularly about early adulthood. More on this later though. For now, I will be leaving you all with this teen-angst selfie from 2013, featuring sunglasses that take up my entire face, a cut-up Never Shout Never shirt, and iconic red lipstick.
Yesterday was World Pride Day–the conclusion to Pride Month–and thus it is apt to reflect on my experience with Pride over the last five years.
I have only been to a Pride event once, and that was during the summer of 2015, which was also the year I had come out to my family. The months preceding June 2015 were extremely difficult in my house…I had lied to my parents to even go to Pride. I had told them I was going to the city with friends, which was partially true. I was actually going to experience the parade in the city with my secret girlfriend.
I had packed a bag with the clothes I was going to change into on the train: rainbow pride earrings, a rainbow pride industrial bar, and a t-shirt I had customized with glitter glue and scissors. That plain t-shirt had transformed into a frilly crop-top with sparkly letters that read “I love [insert my ex-girlfriend’s name].” My ex had made a similar shirt, minus the glitter glue and fondness for scissors. We were very festive.
On the train, I rode a few stops alone before my ex and her friends boarded. When we got to the city, everyone and everything was rainbow. I had never experienced anything like it before. It was amazing to be around so many queer people, to feel validated, and to be supported.
My ex, her friends, and I watched the parade and I took lots of pictures, which I no longer have. I did, however, purchase a pride flag that I have to this day.
After the parade, I met up with a friend I had met at a summer pre-college camp. I remember that she had just gotten her nose ring. Anyway, we all went to multiple sex stores, and that is when I bought my first vibrator, which I also no longer have. (I have gone back to that specific sex store though and purchased a new one. In my opinion, that store has the best variety of non-penis-shaped goods in the entire city.)
Before boarding the train back home alone, I had removed my pride gear and tucked it back into my bag. My dad had picked me up at the train station and didn’t ask any questions, and so I had thought I was safe from interrogation. That was only true for a few hours.
The next morning, my mom had suddenly become skeptical of my whereabouts. She questioned what I had done in the city, who I had been with, and why I had been alone on the train. She blatantly asked me if I went to Pride, and I had responded with a resounding “no.”
And that was the end of that.
Fast forward to 2019… many of my friends went to Pride and invited me along, but I refrained. Part of my reluctance to attend any Pride event was a fear of large crowds, not wanting to cancel my Sunday Yin Yoga class (which I brought to my local community center and I’m super proud of it), and a fear of telling my parents that I was going.
Is that weird? I’m twenty-three and I’m afraid to tell my parents what I want to do, particularly if it involves my queerness. This is despite the fact that I had come out to them twice and integrated my recent ex into my familial life as much as possible.
I am unsure why I continue to have this fear that drives my preference to avoid queer topics. For years after I came out the first time, I blamed this tendency on them.
I had felt like they rejected me when I came out, which is why I had continuously lied to them. It had seemed like we were at war with each other for months, and I never forgave them. I didn’t feel like I could trust them.
It’s why even after my ex and I broke up, after years had passed, I still lied to them about where I was going and who I was hanging out with. I would answer questions they had about my personal life as vaguely as possible so they wouldn’t know that much about me. I would answer their questions snippily as well, which would cause conflicts about my bad attitude.
So much has changed between us though. Thus, my fear of talking about Pride and sexuality with them seems to stem primarily from residual pain. I have to constantly remind myself that they’re not going to yell at me or interrogate me about this stuff anymore. I’m no longer an eighteen-year-old in high school. I graduated from college, I work a full-time job and teach yoga on the side, and I’ve been a fucking adult for a few years now. I make my own choices. I don’t know why I don’t always find this rationale convincing.
Yesterday, however, my mom shared a sweet moment with me that reminded me of how things have improved between us.
I was sitting on my bed, wearing the Pride shirt my ex had gotten me, and planning my Yin Yoga class with the Pride Parade on in the background. My mom knocked on my door and asked to come in. Once inside my room, she asked me if I was watching the parade and I affirmed that I was. She asked if my friends were there and I replied, “Yes, they invited me and I wanted to go, but I love this yoga class I teach, so I decided to stay home.”
She nodded, understanding since she takes all my yoga classes and since she knows how important this class is to me. Then she invited me to watch the parade in her room. I declined the offer, and then she went back upstairs. A few minutes later, she returned to give me a hug and she told me that she loves me no matter what.
Twenty minutes later, before I ran out the door to take care of some errands, I went to her room and saw her watching the parade in the rocking chair she used to cradle my sister and I in when we were infants.
It was the sweetest and simplest moment, but it provided me with the validation and support that I had gotten from my experience at Pride five years ago. This time, however, it was from the person I needed the validation and support from the most.
The title of this post feels like a throwback to my obscure blog post titles circa 2014. This title is actually not obscure though…my barista really did get a new job. He’s going to be working full-time doing something related to his field and it’s great! It’s also bittersweet because he’s been my barista for a few years, and I’m going to miss chatting with him.
I’ve actually known him for over five years, before he even became a barista. We used to work together at a burger shack when I was in high school. (If you read my blog back in 2014, I’m referring to the infamous burger-shack-lesbian-romance-disaster that I wrote in great detail about during the beginnings of this blog. He’s from that era of my life).
Before my senior year of high school began, he quit to become a barista at the coffee shop local to me. He was (maybe still is) friends with my first ex, so I used to still hang out with him when the lesbian squad and I visited him after his shifts.
When my ex and I split during my first few months in college, I dreaded running into him when I was home from break and went to my local coffee shop. Obviously, as time passed, wounds healed, and dread turned into “nice.” It was nice to run into him every few months just because he was a familiar face and we would catch up a bit.
After I graduated from college, I basically moved into the local coffee shop just so I could escape my parents’ interrogations about jobs. Our conversations at the coffee shop became longer since we had more time to chat and since we saw each other more frequently. We bonded over job-hunting since he was graduating soon and about to embark on the full-time job-hunt too.
So…he’s heard bits from all different points in my life. He’s heard about college, my temporary jobs, my two full-time job offers, and my acceptance of a full-time job offer. I’ve heard about his college experience, job-hunting, and I coincidentally saw him on his last day at the shop, so he was able to tell me about his acceptance of a full-time offer.
It’s come full circle! We’ve both moved on from that coffee shop and are now professional, working adults. What a life.
I want to try to stay in touch with him, despite the fact that I won’t be seeing him somewhat regularly anymore. After I saw him on Friday, I messaged him to suggest getting drinks after work sometime. We’ve never hung out before aside from five years ago, but I think it’d be nice to try. Maybe we can become better acquaintances or even friends! I’ll be sure to keep you all updated.
Have a great week everyone!
Although the relationship ended almost two weeks ago now, I haven’t processed it fully. That’s partly because my ex and I had been talking about the possibility of trying again, even though I’ve known all along that my heart doesn’t want to try anymore. On the other hand, I wanted to want to try to make things work between us. I had ended things, but I wasn’t ready to let go.
In general, I have a difficult time making decisions because of the finality of them. Even when I make a decision, I’m afraid to stand by it.
Since she knows my patterns, she suspected that I was unintentionally leading her on, so she told me about it. Then I did some meditating for a few days and reflected. I was reminded of one of the Yoga Kleshas called Abhinivesa. I tend to forget all of the other Kleshas, but this one has always resonated with me because it addresses the fear and worry of loss and change. In hindsight, the entirety of my post-grad life has been about releasing worry and fear. During my job search, I’ve been trying to secure a job offer, but after the interviews, I become mentally consumed with the fear of getting a job.
If I get the job, will I still be able to teach yoga? Will the commute be too arduous? Will I have to move? Where will I move? How am I going to get a car? Will I have to work too many hours? Will I always get home when everyone is asleep? What if I become depressed from working? How will I be able to maintain my self-care practices while working full time? How will I find balance?
A month ago, I had told my yoga teacher about this problem, and she informed me that there was no possibility of me moving forward if I am caught up in anxiety and fear. In order to move forward, I have to channel all my energy forward without clutching onto my fears.
Relationships are obviously different than personal goals, but I was trapped in the same cycle of trying to move forward while holding onto my fear of loss and change. When I realized this, my girlfriend and I talked on the phone about the finality of our breakup.
So…now I’m spending time healing from that before my life becomes busy again. I’m grateful to have some time to rest, reflect, and heal. Part of my reflecting process includes reflecting on an oracle card reading I did last week, right after the breakup. The reading continues to be relevant, so I decided to share it below.
Surrendering – An Oracle Card Reading
- The first card, which represents where I’m at now, is Divine Support. This card is associated with the sacred, cosmic sound of “Aum” that brought the world into existence. This card reveals that Ganesha wants to assist me in my divine path away from fear, distress, and anguish and towards light and love of myself. As I face all these obstacles and changes in my life, I struggle not to doubt or worry about my decisions. I’ve sought out more introspective self-care such as journaling, meditation, and yin yoga. I love chanting, particularly chanting “Aum,” which helps me feel connected to the Universe.
- The second card represents my next step, which is Acceptance. The card advises that I accept things as they are and that I release blame, anger, and sorrow so that I can continue on my spiritual adventure. When I overcome those obstacles, the ego can align with the soul. As I come to find acceptance, I must remember happiness, find contentment, recognize beauty within, and look at the world through a more spiritual perspective. Ganesha supposedly consumed the sadness of the Universe, which is comforting because I’ve been feeling lots of sadness in waves. When I worry, doubt, regret, or anguish creep up in my mind, I recall why I chose the path that I did. Then I accept it for what it is. I want to feel all the feelings so I can accept things as they are and move forward. Again, meditating and yoga play a huge roll in this process.
- My obstacle is Nurture. This card represents creating a calm and balanced life. To achieve this, I need to slow down and deal with issues as they arise. This card is associated with the heart chakra. This card advises finding female friends. I have been connecting with my friends more during this difficult time. I can’t help but wonder if sharing with my fam is the intention of the obstacle…but I’m not ready to do that yet. It took a lot to fight for the presence of this relationship and I’m reluctant to share its demise. I also don’t want to be vulnerable with them yet. I rather keep it to myself. Which may be why this is an obstacle.
- My resource to overcome my obstacle is my Inner Knowing. This means that it is a time for soul searching and to look for guidance within. This card states that I need to seek truth and to use meditation, consideration, and self-assessment to evaluate my direction. This card notes that my priorities may shift and to seek alone time. I think all my journaling has helped strengthen my inner knowing. I’m proud to have honed this and found more confidence in myself by exploring my inner knowing through writing. I plan to continue to grow because it will take me to the next experience.
- My final outcome is Surrender. Rest and recover from the challenges and lessons that I have experienced. Stabilize energy. To me, this is similar to acceptance but it’s more passive. It makes sense that this is what I need. As all these things conclude, it’s time to rest. Resting will refuel me for the next thing. Instead of regarding the break between jobs as a desperate time to obtain another job, use the time to surrender, rest, and refuel. Same thing for my relationship. It’s time to turn inward.
When I was eighteen, everything familiar and comforting in my life had been blown away by the winds of change. I had gone away to college and thus suffered from homesickness, had to create a new life in a strange place, lost touch with many of my hometown friends, and I went through a difficult breakup. I wrote all about these things using a free version of this blog.
Five years later, with a college degree and more life experience under my belt, I have found myself in a similar predicament, yet simultaneously different. I am back under my parents’ roof and thus desiring more independence, I have to create a new life in a familiar place, my friends are either working full-time or are no longer nearby, and I am going through a difficult breakup. Oh, and I seem to forever be in need of a permanent full-time job. I write about all of these things using this blog, which I now own.
How has everything in my life changed while all remaining the same?
All the heartbreaks I endured in high school led me to the discovery of an effective method to instigate change and growth to support the flourishing of myself as an individual. The method is to create a to-do list, and then tackle it! It’s simple, yet super effective and rewarding. You can see my previous breakup-recovery to-do lists here, here, and here.
How to Bounce Back from a Breakup
- Keep applying for jobs. I know, this is probably the most eye-roll-inducing item on the list considering “applying to jobs” is all that I’ve done since May. I will land a job soon though, I’m positive of it.
- Clean my room and the spare room, which is essentially a disastrous extension of my room because it’s filled primarily with my own belongings. I don’t need that much shit! If most of it was thrown out, I wouldn’t even notice. Plus, by organizing my space, I am more prepared to move out.
- Get a haircut and paint my nails. Sure, they’re not necessarily transformative tasks, but I am well overdue for a haircut and painting my nails would make me feel fancy, which is important. I want to feel good about myself.
- Plan a weekend trip, then actually follow-through on it. It’ll be something to look forward to, which I definitely need.
- Lean on the friends that I have during this time of healing.
- When I get a job, fearlessly put myself out there, both professionally and casually. Perhaps I can make some new friends through work.
- Finish reading Don Quixote because I’ve been meaning to finish it for over a year, plus it’s hilarious, which I definitely need in my life right now.
- Resume reading my chakra book so I can begin to create chakra yoga classes. That will be a fulfilling project to work on and to share with my students.
- Do guided meditations for a few weeks to establish the habit of meditating. Meditation is medicine.
- Find something weekly to get excited about and to look forward to. This can be something as simple as treating myself to a nice meal or trying a new class at the gym.
- Free-write daily to alleviate my burdensome thoughts. Express myself and my creativity!
- Until I get a job, find ways to engage with people. This can be by making small talk with someone while I wait in line at the register or by offering someone I pass a compliment.
This list was a little harder to make now that I’m no longer on a college campus where there are more opportunities for social interactions and activities. I did the best that I can though and these challenges will help me cope. I’ll update you all on this list in a few weeks.
What is on your to-do list to enhance your life?
I’ve reluctantly returned to this shabby town:
A graveyard of my former friends-turned-foes
Five years ago, the demons had burned this shithole down
It has since become silent here, lone for the anguished, laughing echoes
Only my ghosts thrive here now
Incapacitated since the demolition
When I pass them, their white lips are pressed into frowns
Their eyes are haunted by regretful recognition
© 2019 Vic Romero
All Rights Reserved
Hello, everyone and welcome back to my blog!
I unintentionally took a longer-than-expected break from posting on my blog. In fact, I hadn’t planned to take a break at all, but due to the excessive pressure I was putting on myself to write as well as all of the craziness that is inherent to the holiday season, I went on a break. I’m glad I am returning now that I naturally feel inspired to write.
During my time away from my blog, I took the GRE, celebrated a stressful version of Christmas, became absorbed by a romance novel series, and relaxed with my friends and my girlfriend. I’m quite relieved that the holiday season is wrapping up and I’m eager to embark on a new year!
Anyway, I wanted to write a bit about my goals for 2019. Before I share them though, you can check out my post about my goals from 2018! Below are additional goals I had for 2018 that were written in a private journal.
- Save money
- Invest in myself: blog
- Challenge myself: perform
- Be creative: crochet and write
- Get published!
- Apply for PhD
- YTT + teach! (500hrs in 5 years?)
I’m proud to have accomplished many of my goals for 2018 such as graduating from college, writing a killer thesis, investing in myself, challenging myself, and exploring my creativity more.
There are a few aspirations from 2018 that I’m still working on though, such as getting a job and applying to grad school. Additionally, some of the items on that list are long-term goals, such as getting published and completing 500 hours of yoga teacher training.
This year, for 2019, I have decided to approach my list differently: I have created resolutions that are short-term oriented, so I can actually accomplish them all in one year. These aspirations break down my longer-term goals into smaller, feasible tasks that ultimately serve as the foundation for the long-term goals I had created in 2017.
Top 10 Goals for 2019
- Allot weekly yoga studying time
- Establish a consistent meditation practice, at least weekly
- Plan and execute a chakra yoga class series for the spring
- Research and book a yoga workshop/training for late 2019/2020
- Confidently making decisions! (Such as for grad school)
- Integrate cardio at least weekly into my routine
- Work daily on a long-term writing project
- Continue to maintain this blog and begin planning how to expand it
- Complete the rest of the half-read books that I have.
- Create a ritual for my ancestors
I’ll definitely be keeping you all updated on my 2019 endeavors. I’m feeling quite optimistic about them.
What are your aspirations for 2019? Please share them below!
For the first time in four years, I had an anxiety attack.
It completely caught me off-guard, despite the fact that I had been nervously calling my girlfriend, my sister, and my mom on the phone for an hour before it had happened. Also despite the fact that I’ve been practicing some negative daily habits for weeks as a result of a Vata-imbalance.
For me, that entails following my whims: I fall asleep whenever I want to (AKA never a reasonable hour), I sleep in late, I create ideas but I don’t bring them into reality, I stress-eat, I distract myself with interminable episodes New Girl (which is a great show), and I lack a routine for diet or otherwise.
Anyway, right before the anxiety attack, I was driving during one of the phone calls with my girlfriend, and my answers to her questions quickly became hysterical to the point where I couldn’t breathe and I had to pull over. It was horrible.
The last time this happened to me, I was preparing for midterms as a first semester, first-year student at a large University. I was also recuperating from an awful breakup, I was homesick, and I was just…learning how to flourish when everything was incredibly new and overwhelming.
I was afraid of failing my classes, nervous that I wouldn’t be able to make friends, and worried that I wouldn’t be able to succeed in college.
While my circumstances are completely different now– I’m a graduate of that University, I overcame homesickness, and I have an amazing relationship that is so much better than I could have imagined– I am now learning how to flourish as an adult. It’s incredibly new to me and it’s overwhelming.
I published a post recently about my fears, but they’re rather surface-level. My more deep-seated fears include being afraid of making a “wrong” decision, nervous to embark on something “too risky,” and worried that I can’t succeed in the real world.
All of these fears have ultimately culminated in the stunting of my growth. My fears have become my reality because I haven’t been challenging them…instead, I’ve been holding myself back to prevent myself from my perception of disaster. Then I’ve been blaming everyone else for holding me back.
After my anxiety attack, my sister pointed out that I have a difficult time making a decision because I have all these “ideas” but I hardly execute them. She also informed me that I doubt and second-guess myself consistently. How can I expect to move forward if my energy is so self-destructive?
Prior to the post about my fears, I wrote about manifesting and persistence. While they are extremely vital methods toward success, they are insufficient if the way I treat myself is negative. So, more importantly, how can I channel positive, confident, loving energy toward myself to raise my vibration and ultimately attract other high-vibe opportunities that would enable me to achieve my goals?
Well, this anxiety attack was a wake-up call that I’m not okay with holding myself back any longer. Now is the time to break this cycle and challenge my fears. Now is the time to take risks that may not always be successful, but that’s part of learning! Now is the time to try.
- Move out of state
- Take a trip
- Choose a grad school program
- Apply to a grad school program
- Light a match
- Drive on the highway
- Chant more
- Be confident
- Be positive
- Introduce more “yogic” things to my yoga class
- Write a book
- Develop my own business
- Make malas
- Reconnect with mentors
- Pursue my passions, even if I’m uncertain where they will lead
What does your list look like?
Since my campaign job ended at the beginning of this month, I’ve resumed looking for a full-time job. Although it hasn’t even been a month of this hustle, I’ve fallen into some negative thought-patterns again. It’s actually affected my health this time.
My thought-patterns were challenged the other day though when I was confronted with a small, yet powerful omen and reminder of the effectiveness of manifestation. I noticed the omen when I was partaking in the mundane task of waiting in line at TJ Maxx to return a bracelet. Before I divulge, let us rewind a bit…
A few weeks prior I went to TJ Maxx to find gifts for the holidays and for my mom’s birthday. As I meandered through the aisles to survey the goods, I came across some cool planners.
I love planners. Well, not just any type of planner. I am loyal to my pocket-sized, leather-bound agenda with gold trim pages and a ribbon bookmark from Barnes and Noble. I carry this agenda with me at all times in case I need to write down an appointment or remember to do something.
Since 2019 is quickly approaching and since I hadn’t yet repurchased the agenda I am so fond of, I scoped out the planners that TJ Maxx carried. I considered getting one of the planners that had cool graphics and stickers (my typical agenda isn’t as cute and affirmative), but I ultimately decided not to purchase one for several reasons. First of all, the planners TJ Maxx carried were all spiral-bound, which I loathe, plus it was larger and heavier than I prefer. I thought to myself that if it was $5 cheaper, I would buy it regardless just so I could have a planner for 2019. Now, let’s fast-forward to the other day…
When I was in line to return a bracelet at TJ Maxx, I was thinking about the frustrating conversation that I had had with my girlfriend about the woes of job-hunting. I was feeling rather negative, especially because I had to wait in a long line to return one small item, but I decided to take advantage of my time by examining all the products that they have in the checkout line.
Right before I was the next one at the register, I noticed a lone 2019 agenda that was stamped with “Nevertheless, She Persisted.” I actually have a t-shirt with that statement on it, but in that moment, it was exactly the reminder I needed. It was my good omen. Although job-hunting sucks and my efforts feel futile, I must persist. Eventually I’ll find what I need.
I picked up the agenda curiously, dubious that I would actually like it since I’m so particular and loyal to the brand only available at Barnes and Noble. Well, shockingly, this specific agenda was identical to the interior of the agenda style that I am loyal too. The size of the agenda was a little bit bigger than the pocket-sized journal, but it wasn’t heavier and I could still carry it in any purse. This stray agenda was also not spiral-bound and it had a ribbon bookmark, just like my old one. As if it couldn’t get better, it was also $5 cheaper than the agenda that I had looked at a few weeks back, making it only $5.
It all seemed too good to be true. I was at TJ Maxx, after all, so this agenda had to have a flaw. I inspected the agenda for damage, and it was in mint condition, ironically akin to the color of it. So, I bought it.
You can regard this whole little experience in the line at TJ Maxx as just an odd coincidence or a small dose of good fortune, but I perceive it to be a small sign from the Universe that the Universe hasn’t forgotten about me. In fact, the Universe is unfolding as it should, and all I have to do is continue to persist. It’s not about worrying whether I’m persisting in the “right” direction…whatever I do is what I’m meant to do in the moment. Just keep going. Keep persisting.
In addition to it being a good omen, I also believe I manifested this agenda. I’ve been putting it out into the Universe for a few months that I needed a new agenda. I had actually written in my old agenda, repeatedly since September, to get a new agenda for 2019. Despite my need, I kept postponing going to Barnes and Noble to the point where I doubted I was going to get an agenda in time for 2019. I had even requested my girlfriend get it for me. She didn’t get it for me though because she wasn’t supposed to, and I kept postponing going to Barnes and Noble because I wasn’t supposed to go. I was destined to find this agenda at TJ Maxx. It wasn’t the one that I wanted; it was actually better.
If I can manifest a $5 agenda that contains a ton of significance, I can manifest the job that I need and want too. From what I’ve learned from The Alchemist so far, as well as from all the podcasts I listen to, manifesting is as simple as asking for it, being open to receiving it, and paying attention. I was very open that day, despite my frustration. In fact, I had been talking to my cousin in the car that same day about “signs” and about how not all negative setbacks indicate that you shouldn’t be pursuing your destiny. Sometimes they’re just roadblocks that you need to overcome.
So…if you needed a sign that you are on the “right” track, or if you needed a reminder that your efforts are worthwhile, or if you needed to remember that all the power you need is within you, this is it. This is your good omen.
Nevertheless, We Persisted.